Teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has become a household name over the last year due to her efforts to get politicians to enact meaningful climate change policy. Her school strikes have become an inspiration to younger generations around the world making her the face of a global movement.
And like every other thing that has mass appeal, Greta Thunberg is also the face of many a meme circulating on the internet.
I’m with Greta
Hillary Clinton’s campaign used the “I’m with her” slogan for her 2016 presidential run which quickly became a widespread hashtag promoted by female celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis, Amy Schumer, and Katy Perry. It was also found splashed across t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other types of swag.
The “I’m with her” slogan is equally fitting as a show of solidarity with Greta and the push for climate legislation.
What Greta wants: It’s simple. The climate activist wants the adults in charge of making the policies that run the world to “listen to the science” and then act accordingly. As she said in her speech before the U.S. Congress:
“My name is Greta Thunberg. I have not come to offer any prepared remarks at this hearing. I’m instead attaching my testimony. It is the IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5º Celsius—the SR 1.5 which was released on October 8, 2018. I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind science. And then I want you to take real action. Thank you.”
Making a Difference
No matter your age, it can easily feel like you are the only person that is trying or that cares about the big issues. People often get discouraged thinking that their actions have no effect or contribute to the greater good. However, it only takes a quick glance at Greta to know that isn’t true.
One little Swedish girl literally started a global movement.
What Greta did: The teenager started striking from school to protest outside the Swedish parliament building. When she started, she was just one student sitting outside with a sign, but before long there were students all over the world joining her strike—including an international strike day on September 20, 2019, which had over 4 million people out in the streets. Thunberg went from a single student holding a handmade sign in 2018 to Time’s Person of the Year in 2019.
It’s Not About Politics
After her passionate speech at the UN, there were those calling Greta out as a “political’ actor while still others were crying child abuse at her parents. Fox News labeled her as “mentally ill.”
Yet, Thunberg has made it very clear that she is not politically motivated.
What Greta says: The teen has been quite plain about the fact that she doesn’t care about any parties or particular politicians—no matter their affiliations. She wants all of them to listen to what the scientists are telling them about the climate emergency. Greta doesn’t care if her words ruffle feathers either.
“Now is not the time for speaking politely. Now is the time to speak clearly.”
A Teen and a Bully
Thunberg’s popularity doesn’t translate for everyone, and there is one prominent political figure that has frequently expressed his dislike for the 16-year-old—Donald Trump. The 73-year-old president has repeatedly shaken his fist at the young climate whippersnapper, lashing out on Twitter.
President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he thinks climate change is a hoax.
What Greta thinks: Quite simply, she doesn’t care what President Trump says about climate change. Thunberg was a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres show during her visit to Los Angeles. While the Swedish teen was happy to chat with Ellen, she was very blunt about her intentions of not attending a meeting with President Trump.
“I don’t understand why I would do that. I don’t see what I could tell him that he hasn’t already heard. And I just think it would be a waste of time, really.”
Make America Greta Again
In her UN speech, Thunberg chastised world leaders for only focusing on “eternal economic growth” while the people of the world were suffering. Her words rang with accusation as she was brought to tears by the fact that her childhood was literally being stolen from her as she was forced to fight for the chance to have a future. Many people were moved by her words and her sentiments.
Donald Trump was not one of them.
What Greta tweeted: After her speech, the President responded with sarcasm on Twitter calling her a “very happy young girl.” In an epic clap back, Thunberg changed her Twitter bio proving that she had a little snark of her own:
“A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
Greta Strikes Again
As mentioned above, Thunberg was chosen as Time’s 2019 Person of the Year beating out none other than Donald Trump for the honor. The 73-year-old President didn’t appreciate losing to the Swedish teenager, and he voiced his displeasure on Twitter, as usual.
Trump’s tweet called the award ridiculous and told the teenager to “chill.”
What Greta tweeted: Once again, Thunberg proved that she was the queen of cool. After Trump’s tweet, she changed her Twitter bio to mock the President’s words for a second time. It was a move that caught the attention of nearly all the late night comics who loved her smooth way of shutting down Trump’s bullying.
Chill Trump, Chill!
After Trump’s Twitter tantrum, Greta’s supporters wasted no time pointing out that the President really wasn’t in any position to discuss someone else’s anger management skills. While Thunberg has shown she is capable of handling hecklers with grace and tact, Trump is known for encouraging violence against protestors at his rallies. And that is just the tip of the Trump anger iceberg.
Is it at all surprising that Time chose Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year over Donald Trump?